after taking a shower, after eating some breakfast. i cleaned my fish tanks. in hindsight aquariums in the kitchen is a bad idea because the condensing cooking oil collects on the water surface causing algae bloom. maybe if i do biweekly water changes it won't be too bad. or maybe just not have a roommate who likes to fry cook all the time!

in the early afternoon i went to the community garden to plant some seeds. i'm super ambitious this season, growing at least 19 different things in my plot. whether they'll all survive before the falling mulberries cover up my plot for a few weeks in may-june i don't know yet. i was thinking about using some clear plastic tarp but i haven't found a source yet.

i ran into my neighbor ed while coming back from the garden. he was wearing suspenders over a white undershirt. "you got cleaned up," he said, pointing to my beardless face and shorter hair. we chatted for 20 minutes. at one point a pretty woman walked by us. "did you see that? i think she was holding a can of mace," ed told me. "hey, they found your friend," he pointed out, referring to osama bin laden. he showed me the weeping flowering cherry tree in his backyard that he got as a mother's day present. i noticed the unused blue rain barrel. "i was thinking about selling that for $50," he said. i also noticed he had some peonies. "pee-OWN-nee" was how he pronounced it.

while i sowed seeds in my community garden plot, in belmont i had actual plants to transplant into the raised beds. 4 nights of outdoor hardening should be enough. our daytime temperature averages in the 60's but drops down to the low 50's at nights. today we were treated to a brief temperature upswing of 70's. it was warm enough that i rode the motorcycle in my t-shirt (although i did bring a sweatshirt for when i'd come back in the late evening).

my sister took hailey to the woods and wasn't back yet. i didn't begin planting until she returned so i could have her input even though i already had a pretty good idea of where everything was going. basically, climbing plants like cucumbers and vining flowers in the back, where they can scale our makeshift trellises; rows of tomatoes in the center row, spaced far apart to give them plenty of growing room; and the front rows for everything else, from basil to peppers to flowers.

originally my sister was in charge of planting, but when she crumbled one of the transplants, i moved her to marsh grass mulching and watering duty. the 2 bales of marsh grass will be more than enough for all the raised beds plus my own community garden plot.

i don't like my sister's cooking. the things she make are needlessly extravagant, often using expensive ingredients that can hardly be tasted. i prefer simple and cheap. and when you make any sort of criticism, she gets personally offended. having said that, what she made today was pretty good, this lamb stew with red wine and mushrooms and potatoes and even some chocolate (i couldn't taste the chocolate, when she told me i rolled my eyes). i could smell it outside the house while i was gardening, making me hungrier by the minute. we even added the handful of fresh morels i found yesterday. all this was served with toasted focaccia bread and vinegar rosemary strawberries.

i would've been okay with just an instant cup of korean ramen noodles.

while my sister left for some evening nanny duty, i was in belmont babysitting the dog. not that she needed it, since she basically slept for the next 6 hours. i stayed until almost midnight, when my sister called saying she didn't know when the kids' parents were going to come home. i let hailey outside to pee one last time before i returned to cambridge. temperature was in the 50's so it was sort of cold on the motorcycle, even with the sweatshirt. next time i'll bring a jacket.